Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label

Review

industrial.org

Kotra – Stir Mesh

I was first introduced to Ukraine outfit Nexsound via their Alphonse de Montfroyd co-release with German label Ad Noiseam. That outing is one of my personal faves of the last year so I was definitely keyed up when this release appeared in my PO Box. Kotra has their embedded microprocessor firmly soldered into some malfunctioning Gameboy, the material here somewhere between gritty Nanoloop and pure system reset. It’s glitchy but in a very low level, crude assembly glue manner. Instead of pristine artifacts and polite silence, kotra uses sounds straight off the bus, raw and aliased, sharp and bursty. It’s still pretty glitch in that most sounds have extremely short, squared off amplitude envelopes with spark gaps inbetween but I find the approach here not unlike listening to a Suffocation album in that it’s got that same “let’s play all the damn riffs” density to it. No shortage of sputtering, strangulated little noise constructions and seemingly no end to the shifting variations, linearly applied as the laser follows the spinning disc.

Although in many ways sonically related, this album is the total opposite of the recent Mugen “770” release. Both artists work with cold little bits of machine language, repetition and sparse, wide strokes of the printer head. However, where Mugen worked with steady, metronomic constructions, kotra is downright frenetic, a mix of attention deficit disorder and building pressure in some overflowing disc cache. Keeping the nature of the material in mind, “Stir Mesh” is crammed to bursting, a relentless stream of code fragments, malloc()’ed bytes off the heap and long lost clusters. No bit of data seems to be considered crucial over any other, lifespans here often measured in mere seconds.

The disc clocks in at 48 minutes, spread amongst 13 tracks though you will be hard pressed to find all the markers if you are facing away from the CD player display. Structurally, it’s maybe 30% sinewave, 70% high frequency burst. Not a lot of low end focus on this disc, the restricted bandwidth of an 8 bit device supplying the formants almost exclusively. A lot of the sounds sound like normalizations of ancient PCM artifacts, like cranking up the volume on the death of reverb trails or the last millisecond of a digital answering machine message. It also has a strong non-audio data feel, like Sound Forge let loose on the operating system itself. Zero emotion of course, Borg-like detachement making this one more like a nature trip into deep space vaccuum, the sights taking the form of life stilling radiation and hull puncturing micro asteroids. Very strong on curiosity and satisfying like a machine room full of fan hum. Kotra have definitely succeeded here, the listener’s eyes almost stinging from the acrid burnt circuitry smell wafting out from “Stir Mesh”.

de:bug

Kotra – Stir Mesh

Ok, wer denkt in der Ukraine wurde nur Elektronika produziert oder vielleicht mal ein Technotrack, stop. Hort euch das mal an. Hitechkratzburstendigisound der besonderen Art, der stellenweise knattert wie ein in die Chips geladenes Maschinengewehr, dann fies in die Ohren sticht wie ein Eispickel, dann zwischen verschiedensten Medien breakt als ware es alles nur eine Frage des Packetswitchings, der Subsonischem den Hals, Hypersonischem den Himmel abdreht und am Ende auch noch so tut als war das alles ja doch nur Funk. Spassige digitale DSP Helden Platte fur Freunde von Musik jenseits von Mego etc.

Vital

Kotra – Stir Mesh

Another release on Nexsound is by Kotra, aka Dmytro Fedorenko from the Ukraine. His sound is definetly more noise and electronic oriented. Using elements from techno, industrial music and clicks and cuts, he creates his own thing. In general the pieces are quite slow and overall there is no 4/4 to be recognized. Harsher edged sounds make this much more into an industrial version of Oval and a less swinging Pan Sonic. Although 14 (untitled) tracks are listed, they flow into each other. Unfortunally some pieces are too static to hold the full attention, even when it comes to a few minutes per track. The limitness of the sounds used overall is what makes this product into a too long thing. The 3″ size would have worked well here. (FdW)

incursion

Kotra – Stir Mesh

A glitch-filled collection of electronics, this disc by Ukrainian artist Dmytro Fedorenko sets out early to hit you heavy and hard. The glitches are raw, the beats are sparsely constructed poundings, and the accents are high-pitched squeals of aural mayhem. It’s all far too much to take in a single sitting. Here we have close to 50 minutes of similarly constructed tracks, and there is no respite from the noise whatsoever. The sounds lay heavily on one’s ears, and no matter what volume the disc is played at, the intensity is unavoidable. Everything glitches, everything is interrupted, nothing is left to linger. Rhythms start and stop whenever they feel like it, leaving me with little time to get acquainted with them. There is no depth to the production: nothing to fill the air with any amount of hope. There is only glitch, beat and noise, the only elements present that combine to make a frustrating and disappointing experience. [Vils M DiSanto]

Vital

Kotra – Live Session

Kotra is the moniker for one Dmytro Fedorenko from Kiev. This release is a collection of pieces from various live performances made at Clubtransmediale Festival in Berlin, Garage Festival in Stralsund and miscellaneous shows in Kiev. Kotra works in the field of digital noise-sharp textures and frequencies that are akin to scraping your eardrum with a razor. Kotra takes such sounds and beats them into shape creating loops and repeating motifs. The first 12 tracks here are all around a minute or less which depending on your pain threshold might be a good thing. The last 2 tracks are longer pieces and i think here is were Kotra starts to really develop his ideas into what sounds like binary heavy metal-riffs formed from digital errors with enough testosterone to get your fist pumping into the air. These 2 tracks would make an impressive single. (JS)

Indieville

Kotra – Dissilient

Kotra’s Dmytro Fedorenko has background in noise bands and mathematics, but even knowing that I wasn’t prepared for the experimental soundart that comprises Dissilient. On these twenty-one brief compositions, the listener is confronted with all sorts of noise, sometimes harsh, sometimes unbearably strident. The experience is often frustrating, but something interesting lies under the surface; these pieces are, in fact, strangely hypnotic. If you let yourself lie back and listen to this in the dark, you’ll notice how well the sounds come together. Amidst the abrasive noise and the high-frequency screeches, there is a definitive sense of precise order; though random, these sounds work together to produce an atmosphere that’s at once mechanical and human. It’s hard to define what makes this “music” so enjoyable – indeed, I doubt I’ll be compelled to listen to Dissilient too often in the future – but there’s something about Fedorenko’s soundscapes that, if given the chance, could really change the average listener’s perception of music.
84%
Matt Shimmer

Splendid

Kotra – Dissilient

The salary, health care, and retirement accounts available in the field of reviewing music (which ranges from the indie/mainstream to the almost unfathomably obscure) are fantastic, but many of us enjoy working 40+ hour per week jobs on top of it. Naturally, in workplace gab sessions, the subject of our super-hero identities as reviewers occasionally comes up. Once people have looked at the site, they usually ask the following: “So, what’s the (worst/weirdest/most memorable) thing you’ve reviewed?”
My stock answer for “weirdest” album has long been Magali Babin’s Chemin de Fer, which consists almost entirely of the recorded sound of pieces of metal interacting with other pieces of metal. I actually kind of enjoyed Chemin de Fer, but I have listened to it maybe once since I reviewed it.
With that in mind, I’m pleased and amazed to announce that I have a new winner in the “weird” category. I’ve experienced albums based on formless electronic noise before — but I’ve never heard one that was so decidedly listener-unfriendly. Kotra definitely has a vision, and it’s easy to see that Dissilient came out precisely as intended. It’s just hard to imagine why he has distributed copies of it to others.
In addition to the fact that Dissilient consists entirely of sounds that most mainstream listeners would go out of their way to avoid hearing, it contains so little modulation, and such an apparent lack of purpose or structure, that it almost seems designed to put off adventurous listeners as well. The first two thirds of the disc (all tracks titled “Minus”) consists almost entirely of different interactions between an almost unchanging, high feedback tone and other, incidental noises. After the silent “Zero” track, the “Plus” tracks emerge, with a sonic palette that might sound richer, but only to ears already dulled by the earlier tracks. There are other, exceedingly minor variations, but the album closes in the same aggressively unvaried form in which it began.As some sort of experiment in audience provocation, Dissilient might be sort of interesting…but only to an observer in a soundproof booth.
— Brett McCallon

Vital

Kotra – Dissilient

The man behind Kotra is one Dmytro Fedorenko, who played bass in a jazz-noise band, had a noise duo called Zet and has worked with the likes of Kim Cascone, Andreas Berthling and Andrey Kiritchenko. Here he plays twenty-one tracks in just over thirty-four minutes. When I started this CD, I thought my opinion would be ready after 2 minutes: noise, generated through feedback and processed digitally. But as this CD progressed, and the sound remained almost similar throughout, I realized that I was not listening to twenty-one tracks, but to one work broken up in twenty-one different pieces. As the piece evolves more sounds are added, even a guitar can be heard, and the whole thing is broken up with smaller sound particles. Although noise is in general the thing I am no longer concerned for, the conceptual approach is something that I like very much. Given the concise and precise dealings with Kotra, I am all for it. That’s the way to do it. (FdW)

loop

Kotra – Dissilient

This is the most recent release from the Ukrainian label Nexsound from which we have already review some releases [the compilation V/A, ‘Rural Psychogeography’ and from The Moglass Ukraine trio]. A new album by Dymytro Fedorenko, aka Kotra, a mathematician from Kyiv who studied classic guitar and started making music as a bass player in a jazz-noise band. He was part of the Zet duo and participates in performances along with visual artists and video makers. In 1988, he decided to start his own project Kotra. Since then he has released six albums and several compilations appearances published in the USA, Europe and the Ukraine. Fedorenko has worked with important sound artists such as Kim Cascone, Andrey Kiritchenko [Nexsound’s founder] and Andreas Berthling. On ‘Dissilient’ we attended a long session of digital noise in which also glitch and skips are noticed. Some noises oscillate in a dynamics of low rank until reaching highly inaudible extreme levels. Granular synthesis is also part of the techniques used in this album since there’re tiny sounds which are processed and edited in a random appearance.

noize

Kotra – Dissilient

Dmytro Fedorenko ist studierter Mathematiker in der Ukraine, an der klassischen Gitarre ausgebildet und offenbar ein eigentlich recht kreativer Thirtysomething. Seine musikalisch-kunstlerische Sozialisation fand in noisigen Jazzgefilden, Videokultur und der aufkeimenden, interaktiven Web-Art statt. Sein Solowerk firmiert seit bereits sechs Alben unter den Namen Kotra und bietet auf diesem vorliegenden aktuellen Output digitale Langeweile der schlimmsten Sorte. Die Tracklist setzt sich, wie originell, dem “Null Eins Ja Nein” Gedanken entsprungen, aus 21 Titeln zusammen, die lediglich die Namen “Plus”, “Minus”, “Zero”, “Plus/Minus” und “Minus/Plus” tragen. Dahinter verbergen sich elektronisch generierte Tone bis zur Unertraglichkeit, dass man fast furchten muss, ein Abspielgerat konnte diese als Programmbefehle missverstehen. Scheiben dieses Genres sind per se schwierig uberhaupt zu bewerten. Erkennt man aber wenigstens einen Hauch Inspiration, eine wie auch immer geartete Idee, kann durchaus ein Reiz an solcherlei Klangmontage entstehen. Sechs Punkte fur den Mut, sich in die Nische zu begeben, einen subjektiven halben Punkt des Verfassers fur die Umsetzung und unter Berucksichtigung des Randgebietes, in dem sich diese Scheibe abspielt: ohne Bewertung! (6/6,0.5/6,ohne Bewertung)-Michael Kellenbenz-

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